Running, Bird Attacks, and Catcalling

For the past month, I have been going on runs.

I know… I know. Patricia and running? Those two things do not go together. However, I started running with a friend near the lake and it’s been exhausting, fun, and insane. It was only two weeks ago that I decided to run by myself…and I nearly died, but I didn’t.

Then, on one of my runs, I started thinking about all the circumstances you’re in while you’re running. In fact, life is very similar to running.

The following lessons from my runs definitely apply to life:

1. Pace yourself

This seems pretty obvious, but it’s true. You rush your run, specially when you’re a first-timer, and you will feel like death itself. That was not a hyperbole. The same applies to life. You need to pace yourself in whatever situation you’re in…whether you want certain things to happen and they don’t, or you can’t find a job, a boyfriend/girlfriend…just calm down, breathe in slowly, pace yourself and push forward. You’ll get there.

2. Keep good company

To be honest, running with a friend is always much more fun than running by myself. My friend, Bridget, keeps me simultaneously entertained and focused on this arduous activity. In life, you need to surround yourself with good people that will do the same for you. Friends should support you and be good influences in your life. It’s not that hard to find a good support system. Seek these people out! They’re worth it!

3. Sometimes you just have to be alone

Yes, running by yourself is such a liberating experience. You will find a way to focus on yourself, enjoy your surroundings, and pursue self-improvement through running. You should expect the same out of life. You can’t always be surrounded by friends. Sometimes you need to cool off, stay home, and treat yourself…just you, no one else.

4. Hydrate

Just….really? Just drink plenty of fluids in life, when you exercise, whenever. Just do it.

5. Stay away from attacks

FUN anecdote: I went on a run to a park nearby. Wings flapping, bawking, and BAM! A bird attacked me. It pecked my head consistently and it was angry at me. Sure, it doesn’t sound like a “real attack”, but it was a little too “Hitchcock” for my taste and it was really scary in the moment.

On another fun note, every single time I go for a run, there are creepy men available for catcalling. Yes, the infamous disgusting tale of random creeps “complimenting” a young woman from afar instead of minding their own business. As scary as the bird attack was, I am NOT a fan of catcalling. It is really terrifying to feel like no matter what, there will always be a creep yelling “compliments” at you.

My point is that, in life as well as in running, you need to stay away from these kinds of attack. However, sometimes they are completely inevitable. My advice is to keep your cool, calm down, and ignore the attacks from birds, catcallers or anyone, really.

Running, like life, doesn’t always have to be a pain. In short, you may feel like giving up or dying, but you can do it! Keep your focus, pace yourself, and enjoy life!

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The Applesauce Theory

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A few months ago, a friend and I were discussing the daunting “was that a date?” question. At the time, some of our close girlfriends were struggling with men and their lack of clarity when it came to going out one-on-one. Thus, the applesauce theory was born.

The Applesauce Theory is simple. Back in kindergarten (or pre-school), you would sit down for snack time next to your friends. Then, out of the blue, the cute kid from class would sit next to you and put his applesauce on the table. If he had a crush on you, he would be clear and say: “Hi Patricia, do you want to share this applesauce with me?” I would agree and we would giddily sit next to one another knowing that that was as serious as it could be in kindergarten. On the other hand, some other punk would sit down next to you, put his applesauce right between you and him, and then you wouldn’t know. Does he want to share his applesauce? Is he interested in me? He just wasn’t clear…as if he were expecting you to make the first move.

Apparently, men haven’t really changed a lot since pre-school. It’s all about putting the applesauce on the table while you’re sitting there arms crossed wondering whether or not he wants you to have some. The lack of clarity is disconcerting because it doesn’t really take a lot to be clear. A simple “Hi [insert name], do you want to go out with me?”  is more than enough, but instead we’re all left wondering whether or not “hanging out” is a date.

Needless to say, the Applesauce Theory only expects men to own up to their intentions when they’re wooing a woman. It’s truly not that hard.

Drop the following excuses and get on board! It’s simple!

1. If it ain’t true, it ain’t love…

Okay. Asking a girl out on a date does not mean that you’re committing forever and ever to this one girl. However, it does help a girl figure out your intentions. We live in a society full of “hanging out”, banal text messages, and hookups. If you keep perpetuating the never-ending cycle of the applesauce theory, you won’t finally get the girl. You’ll end up wondering why she kept hanging out with Mr. I-can share-my-applesauce and friend-zoned you.

2. Women just get “too clingy”

Women: Do not  get clingy. As I stated before, going out on one date does not mean that you’re marrying the guy, having his children, and living happily ever after. It just means that he intends to get to know you better. Don’t be like Jess from New Girl.  Calm down, breathe, stop trying on fifteen different outfits, and relax

3. The Friend Zone.

Ah, the dreaded friend zone. I have so many guy friends who have expressed the constant frustration of being put into the friend zone category…or even worse, the “sibling zone”. This zone is easily avoided when you muster up the courage to ask the girl out and have the conversation that you very much need to have. If you’ve been flirting endlessly for years (or months) and you still haven’t made your feelings clear, you’re doing it wrong. Make a move, be daring, and let them know how you feel.

4. The Fear of Rejection

But…we’re such good friends, what if she rejects me? It’ll be so awkward. Fear is stopping you from sharing applesauce. Don’t let this happen. As Peter McWilliams said, “It is a risk to love. What if it doesn’t work out? Ah, but what if it does.” I’m not going to lie. Rejection sucks. There’s no way around it, but it’s also a very essential part of life. I would rather know how the other person feels about me than stay in the perpetual state of “hanging out” while the applesauce on the table gets stale, moldy, and gross. I know that it’s hard, but just…do it!

5. The Proof is in the Applesauce

Men: if you’re interested in a woman, make it clear. As Francis Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “Why don’t you tell me that ‘if the girl had been worth having she’d have waited for you’? No, sir, the girl really worth having won’t wait for anybody.” If you don’t make your intentions clear, how are we supposed to know that you’re interested… just guess? No. Let her know. Otherwise, Mr. I-can-share-my-applesauce will come around and sweep her off her feet.

Go ahead! Ask your crush out…it’ll be worth it!

Home

Jul 30, 2011

Since I was a little girl, I used to dream of the days where I would pack my bags and leave home. To be honest, I never had a real reason behind wanting to leave. I just knew I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t feel like I belonged.

After growing up in a small Southern town in Puerto Rico, I decided to take a leap and move to the capital for college. I was overwhelmed with emotions as I packed most of my belongings in my future roommate’s small car. However, as we were driving away, I remember looking at my mom, waving good-bye and thinking: “Coming home will never be the same again.”

And it wasn’t.

RRP Photography

RRP Photography

I lived in San Juan for about four years. It was a dream come true. Throughout my undergraduate career, I spent my days reading, writing, and learning everything I ever dreamt of studying. I jumped at any career opportunity I could. I yearned to keep growing as a person, as a friend, as a sister, as a daughter…and it was hard.

Suddenly, I graduated…and I knew that I had to say good-bye to the beautiful sunsets, the crystal-clear waters, and the sublime mountains of Puerto Rico. It was truly bittersweet. I wanted to move away, to keep pursuing my studies, to learn more, to keep growing, but part of me wanted to keep holding on to the idea of calling that truly enchanting Caribbean island “home”.

On my way to Wisconsin, I remembered that little girl who wanted to travel and explore, that young teenager who had to grow up and go to college, and that ambitious undergrad who could never put a book down. I realized that I was making the best decision of my life. Still, I hold all of these versions of myself closely and dear to my heart, but it’s hard.

After being homesick for a while, I became aware of the truth: I don’t truly know what my home is anymore. I am now an outsider in the Caribbean and a warm-blooded Boricua lost in the Midwest. I don’t know where I belong, but I know that, for the time being, Wisconsin is my home.

I am joyful to have found a beautiful place with incredible people where I can keep growing as a person. As the cliché says, “Home is where the heart is.”

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